Packaging with natural food extract vapour inhibits mould growth


SoFresh™, based in Wisconsin, USA,  has developed a new technology solution that wraps food in an atmosphere of food grade vapour inhibiting mould growth which can extend food distribution time, shelf life and consumption time, it says.

With over 2500 species of airborne mould attacking food and turning it into waste, SoFresh explains it is able to manufacture a film container or covering that contains just the right amount of organic natural ingredients to enhance natural protection against mould growth.

The company discovered methods to infuse food grade natural extracts into film or containers that emit controlled active vapour inside a food package. In a vapour state these have the ability to reach the mould spores that do not touch the packaging surface.  These spores absorb the vapour which then slows down their metabolism to the point where it is difficult for them to thrive.

Since the vapour is derived from food extract it is safe for humans, according to the company. It has been tested successfully on many foods such as bread, cheese and berries and it imparts no new scents or flavours, it confirms. The technology will shortly be tested on various vegetables and fruits, dried meats and other low moisture food that spoil easily by mould.

The film substrates are manufactured by combining inert polymers with natural plant extracts with only minor changes to standard film manufacturing methods. Company experts have worked with the FDA and independent laboratories to test and assure the safety of adding approved food extracts to the packaging materials.

There are numerous advantages to this technology, including reduction of logistics costs, increased reach of distribution, healthier ingredient and cleaner labelling, with, ultimately, a significant reduction in food waste, it says. The shelf life extension can be tailored to the type of food being packaged as well as the individual requirements of the food manufacturer – from hours to days.

The film technology is designed to not disturb the manufacturing or packaging process and does not require new capital expenditures since it is formulated to fit within the food producer’s current process, claims SoFresh.

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